Interactive touchscreens have taken their place as essential EdTech in classrooms around the world and even many traditional educators have been impressed with results.
For some, however, the question remains, "What can interactive touch screen displays do which traditional classrooms cannot?"
The answer involves looking at how teachers have adopted touchscreens and whether they take full advantage of the technology. Touchscreens supplement the work of great teachers, helping them do more, rather than replacing tried and true methods.
Here's our list of 10 ways teachers today use interactive touchscreen to enhance the education experience and bolster student performance.
1. Cultivate collaboration
Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of the kind of active learning prompted by the use of interactive touchscreens is the increased emphasis on collaboration. At each level of education, interactive learning tools are geared toward the sharing of ideas, discussion, feedback, and mutual encouragement between students. Younger students can benefit from group learning games, interactive quizzes, as well as sounds and visuals that bring lessons to life. Older students can engage in group discussions, conduct peer reviews, and interact more easily with lectures and presentations, while having the same access to course materials remotely as they would in a classroom.
2. Elevate engagement
The possibilities of interactive touchscreens, when used well, produce increased active engagement among students — especially when compared to a more traditional, passive learning environment. A 2019 study from the National Academy of Sciences found that although students believed they would learn more in a traditional lecture setting, the results indicated that they were, in fact, more engaged, and subsequently learned more information, while interacting with active learning tools. In addition to students’ engagement, the study saw an increase in student attendance as well.
3. Incorporate different learning styles
One of the most challenging obstacles in the classroom is providing a curriculum that is tailored to varying learning styles. Interactive touchscreens are unique in their ability to offer creative solutions for each facet of student need, multimodal by nature. Captivating video and high-resolution imagery satiate visual learners, auditory learners can interact with poetry, music, and lectures, while its endless interactive capabilities engage tactile learning skills across the board. One study found that when an interactive whiteboard was split into three screens, educators could target multiple comprehension levels, and additionally, different learning styles at once through unique activities that engage the entire classroom.
4. Develop real world skills
A major pitfall of traditional classroom structures and subsequent displays is that they fail to mirror the reality of contemporary society. This can hinder students from gaining the tools they need to succeed in higher education, their careers, and beyond. With new technologies, the workforce looks increasingly different, requiring skills in STEM, for which a technology-forward education is essential. Professor of International Economics at Harvard University, Richard Cooper, tells McKinsey, “New technology often destroys existing jobs, but it also creates many new possibilities through several different channels.” In a rapidly-changing market, today’s students must be proficient in developing the technological skills they need to succeed — interactive touchscreens can do so when implemented at each level of student education.
5. Foster effective classroom management
Educators know that time is precious — and there’s not nearly enough of it. Many teachers spend hours making copies, grading papers and preparing for lessons off the clock. The fact remains that interactive touchscreens are major timesavers. Engaging interactive quizzes and digital activities can streamline lesson plans, also enabling teachers to prepare lessons from home rather than at school. Time management and even noise-monitoring tools help teachers with the endless task of keeping classrooms under control, helping students remain engaged and focused.
6. Optimize results
When it comes down to it, interactive touchscreens just work — especially when it comes to their intended purpose: improving education. Researcher, Robert J. Marzano found in his study that the use of interactive white board technology saw a 16 percent point gain in student achievement. This implies that a child in the 50th percentile could advance to the 66th percentile through using interactive technology alone. The key, Marzano says, to generating such positive results is in the teacher’s ability to use the technology to supplement their own teaching rather than relying on the technology entirely. For example, giving an in-depth explanation as to why an answer is correct during an interactive quiz, rather than simply remarking on how many students were right or wrong.
7. Make classrooms more eco-friendly
The use of digital tools such as interactive touchscreens have been proven to reduce carbon emissions by 85%. The historical need for nonrenewable resources, such as paper, is significantly diminished while students maintain the same, if not easier, access to course materials virtually and in-person. Less waste means a more environmentally conscious classroom, and greater awareness among students and teachers alike.
8. Make it easy to implement
Unlike more traditional displays and classroom equipment, interactive touchscreens are all-in-one solutions that IT departments can implement into classrooms with ease. They’re more energy efficient, simple to install, and require little to no maintenance — that means more time spent on things that really matter, like learning. As a result, they are more reliable and have a longer lifespan than traditional displays, making both teachers’ and IT’s jobs easier.
9. Can be more cost-effective
Like any investment, the dividends of interactive touchscreens are seen in the long term. The decision to implement touchscreens early on will offset later costs replacing older equipment, as well as maintenance costs. Some touch screen providers, such as OneScreen, offer ever-current technology with the ability to purchase services on subscription. This means that equipment will be updated every three years to ensure that classrooms are equipped with the latest and greatest technology as it advances gradually — rather than when it’s already out of date.
10. Can come with free tech help and training, only from OneScreen
For some educators, the task of learning how to operate new technology like an interactive touchscreen may seem daunting. After all, the whole point is to improve teaching, not make it more difficult. By design, touchscreens are meant to be intuitive and user-friendly for teachers and students. To reduce the learning curve even further, companies like OneScreen offer tech assistance and training with each of their services from Screen Skills Gurus, who help to further ensure touchscreen usability in real-time. As a result, educators can get back to teaching in half of the amount of time it would take to, say, change a projector light bulb!
Learning continues in and beyond the classroom
Interactive touchscreens add intelligence, versatility and an intuitive user experience to any contemporary classroom. Touchscreens can improve the way students learn at every touchpoint of their education and the lives of teachers simultaneously. Rather than signifying a drastic shift in the structure of education, these devices offer the supplemental tools necessary to help fortify students’ learning experience both in and beyond the classroom. That extra step is essential in driving the results that educators want most for their students.
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Lund, Susan, et al. “What Can History Teach Us about Technology and Jobs?” McKinsey & Company,
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www.ascd.org/el/articles/teaching-with-interactive-whiteboards. Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.
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